DOJ watchdog publishes data dashboard to track COVID-19 vaccinations of prison inmates

Prisoners look out of their jail window as protestors gather outside the federal detention center in Downtown Miami on June 12, 2020 in Miami, during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

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The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General has published an interactive dashboard to track the vaccination status of inmates held in federal prisons.

The dashboard is part of a package of COVID-19 data being published by the department in a bid to improve transparency about the effect of the coronavirus in U.S. Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities. 

“We are making this data available to provide further transparency about COVID-19 in BOP-managed correctional facilities,” the DOJ watchdog said in a statement.

The update includes new data on COVID-19 inmate vaccination trends in BOP-managed prisons.

According to the recently released data, active COVID-19 cases across inmates held in federal prisons surged to a peak of 9,500 in January, which represents the highest recorded caseload since the start of the pandemic. Active coronavirus cases among prison staff surged to 2,100 over the same period.

The publication of the dashboard for the federal prison system follows widespread criticism of the failure of states to publish information about the number of COVID-19 cases reported within the state prison system. 

According to The Covid Prison Reporting Project, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi stopped reporting case data last year, while Puerto Rico stopped reporting COVID-19 case data in late 2020.

Since March 31, 2020, a total of 302 inmates held in federal prisons have died of COVID-19, according to the dashboard.

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COVID-19, Department of Justice (DOJ), Inspector General
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